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Metabolomics is the quantitative measurement of the small molecule complement of a given cell, tissue, biofluid or organism, used to understand a particular physiological or pathological process or genetic modification. Put more simply, it's an approach aimed at measuring all the small molecules which make up the metabolic pathways in a cell. To do this, metabolomics uses a combination of analytical chemistry, in particular mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, in conjunction with multivariate statistics to define a metabolic phenotype or 'metabotype'. A caveat to this approach is that no analytical tool is able to measure every single metabolite within even the simplest of systems, but, through modelling the measurable metabolites, researchers can still understand how genes and proteins influence the functions of a cell.

The Metabolomics Facility offers a suite of targeted and open analyses to cover a wide range of chemical space. Assays include 1H NMR spectroscopy of aqueous metabolites (ideal for biofluids and salty solutions that may not be suitable for chromatography), gas chromatography mass spectrometry of aqueous metabolites or for total fatty acid analysis, liquid chromatography mass spectrometry of core metabolism, and direct infusion mass spectrometry of intact lipids. Facility staff have considerable experience in processing the complex data generated from metabolomics and can assist users with data analysis and interpretation.

Contact Details

Facility Manager:

+44 (0)1223 764946

Data Processing Support: 

+44 (0)1223 764948

Office Hours

Monday-Friday: 09:00-17:00


Room 3.09
Sanger Building
Department of Biochemistry
University of Cambridge
80 Tennis Court Road